Taxpayer group blasts Senators\’ hold on legislation that permanently extends Internet access tax moratorium.

WASHINGTON – – Efforts to pass S. 150, the Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act came to an abrupt halt to day when Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and George Voinovich (R-OH) placed a legislative hold on the bill preventing it from coming to the Senate floor for a vote. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nations leading taxpayer advocacy organization, strongly opposes any and all efforts to raise taxes and believes that Senators Alexander and Voinovich\’s hold on S. 150 represents a defacto tax increase on Americans\’ Internet access.

"Clearly Senators Alexander and Voinovich are more concerned about protecting tax collectors instead of taxpayers," said Grover Norquist, President of ATR. "By placing a hold on S. 150, the Senators from Tennessee and Ohio is preventing the elimination of taxes on Internet access, double-taxation of a product or service bought over the Internet, and discriminatory taxes that treat Internet purchases differently from other types of purchases."

In 1998, and more recently in 2001, Congress acted to put an end to taxes that unfairly single out the Internet. If Congress does not pass a new ban on Internet access taxes and multiple and discriminatory taxes it will mean a defacto tax increase on Americans at a time when they are least able to pay it. Not only that, this tax will hit schools, libraries, hospitals and families – those who use the Internet for research, education, and, most critically, communication.

"Because the current moratorium is scheduled to expire on November 1, 2003, Congress must act quickly to permanently ban Internet taxes that are complicated, unfair, and an immense burden on the economy," said Norquist. "Both the Senate Commerce and Finance Committees have cleared the Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act, and now Senators Alexander and Voinovich\’s legislative hold is preventing the Senate from quickly scheduling a vote on this important legislation."

By ensuring that the Internet remains tax-free, individuals and small businesses that could not afford access to the Internet have begun to share in the wealth of opportunities that the World Wide Web has offered. ATR is committed to seeing this trend continue, and the Internet is not burdened with taxes and regulations, harming future growth and innovation.